You may be done with Thanksgiving and moved on to Christmas already, but we're just sitting down to our big meal today. Each year we invite our friends over to a very traditional Thanksgiving meal on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We eat turkey and stuffing and even have The Parade on mute for everyone to watch. That's always fun to explain to everyone.
It's been fun to see how our Tico friends have embraced this meal and look forward to it now as much we do. Last year they even started to make traditional dishes to bring, like pumpkin pie!
Over the last couple of years, I've done some studying on peace. One of the things that caught attention was a sacrifice in the Old Testament called the Peace Offering. Unlike what you might be thinking, it wasn't to pacify God or to buy Him off.
Nope, in fact it was an offering of thanksgiving. It was one of the only offerings that was allowed to be sacrificed any time someone felt like it. One might offer the sacrifice for the completion of a vow, or out of thankfulness for some gift the Lord gave them. One might also offer it as a thank offering for the Peace that they had with God. After the animal was sacrificed, the one offering it ate the meat in community with their friends and family.
This Peace Offering is how I've come to view our Thanksgiving meal. We very consciously offered all the preparing, planing, time and money as a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. Let's be honest, that turkey isn't cheap here in the tropics!
It's a peace offering for the community He has give us. This community wasn't something that came quickly or easily. Every year as I look around at the friends who come to eat our weird gringo food and watch this weird parade thing with us, I am so thankful!
It's also a Peace Offering for the Peace that we have with God. "For He Himself is our Peace."
"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are fellow citizens with the saints,
and are of God’s household" -Ephesians 2:19